Cyclooxygenase (COX), the key enzyme in prostaglandin cascade, is expressed in two isoforms: the constitutive COX-1 and the inducible COX-2. Hyper-expression of COX-2 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of colon-rectal cancer in humans but it appears to play a significant role as a tumour progression factor also in other forms of human cancer, including oral cancer. The aim of this study was to analyze the expression of COX-2, at the protein level, in 45 cases of oral squamous cell carcinoma. Standard immunohistochemical streptavidin-biotin peroxidase analysis was carried out with highly specific antibody against human COX-2 and cell specific markers, in 45 oral squamous cell carcinomas. Our study revealed a moderate to high COX-2 expression in 35 out of the 45 oral squamous cell carcinoma specimens (77.8%). COX-2 expression appeared particularly abundant in the superficial ulcerated layers of relatively well differentiated carcinomas. However, we were unable to assess any statistically significant association between COX-2 hyper-expression and tumor site, tumor grading, tumor size, presence of lymph node metastases, tumor stage and age at onset, respectively. Interestingly, COX-2 expression was detected not only in areas of epithelial dysplasia adjacent to the primary layers (86% of the cases) but also in normal-appearing epithelium at the boundaries of squamous cell carcinoma (77%), indicating a possible involvement in tumour progression by the apparently normal tissue surrounding the lesion. Moreover, intense COX-2 staining was observed in endothelial cells of intra-tumour vessels and extra-tumour vessels adjacent to the tumour nests, in a high proportion of cases (82%). COX-2 positivity was associated with CD34 and VEGF positivity, indicating that these vessels were probably neo-formed ones. From this study as well as from other works, it appears that indeed COX-2 is over-expressed in this important human malignancy. However, further studies are necessary to understand the exact magnitude of this over-expression and, mostly, the possible role of COX-2 in the pathogenesis and progression of oral cancer.

Cyclooxygenase-2 expression in oral squamous cell carcinoma

PANNONE, GIUSEPPE;BUFO, PANTALEO;CAIAFFA, MARIA FILOMENA;LO MUZIO, LORENZO;
2004

Abstract

Cyclooxygenase (COX), the key enzyme in prostaglandin cascade, is expressed in two isoforms: the constitutive COX-1 and the inducible COX-2. Hyper-expression of COX-2 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of colon-rectal cancer in humans but it appears to play a significant role as a tumour progression factor also in other forms of human cancer, including oral cancer. The aim of this study was to analyze the expression of COX-2, at the protein level, in 45 cases of oral squamous cell carcinoma. Standard immunohistochemical streptavidin-biotin peroxidase analysis was carried out with highly specific antibody against human COX-2 and cell specific markers, in 45 oral squamous cell carcinomas. Our study revealed a moderate to high COX-2 expression in 35 out of the 45 oral squamous cell carcinoma specimens (77.8%). COX-2 expression appeared particularly abundant in the superficial ulcerated layers of relatively well differentiated carcinomas. However, we were unable to assess any statistically significant association between COX-2 hyper-expression and tumor site, tumor grading, tumor size, presence of lymph node metastases, tumor stage and age at onset, respectively. Interestingly, COX-2 expression was detected not only in areas of epithelial dysplasia adjacent to the primary layers (86% of the cases) but also in normal-appearing epithelium at the boundaries of squamous cell carcinoma (77%), indicating a possible involvement in tumour progression by the apparently normal tissue surrounding the lesion. Moreover, intense COX-2 staining was observed in endothelial cells of intra-tumour vessels and extra-tumour vessels adjacent to the tumour nests, in a high proportion of cases (82%). COX-2 positivity was associated with CD34 and VEGF positivity, indicating that these vessels were probably neo-formed ones. From this study as well as from other works, it appears that indeed COX-2 is over-expressed in this important human malignancy. However, further studies are necessary to understand the exact magnitude of this over-expression and, mostly, the possible role of COX-2 in the pathogenesis and progression of oral cancer.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11369/14926
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